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back to index backEUROtalk November,  2016


Britain’s manufacturing sector is changing beyond all recognition

Manufacturing is less and less the industry for Britain’s man on the street.

POLITICIANS of all stripes agree: Britain needs more manufacturing. George Osborne, the previous chancellor of the exchequer, promised that the country would be carried aloft by the march of the makers”. To persuade Nissan and other carmakers to stay put after Britain leaves the European Union, the government has offered them support and assurances”, including a pledge to seek tariff-free access to Europe. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, wants to extend such guarantees to manufacturing as a whole”.

Why do politicians so love manufacturing? It is hardly a recent affair: in the 1960s Britain slapped a tax on the service sector in order to subsidise manufacturing. But the obsession has intensified recently, partly because the industry seems to be doing so badly. From the 1840s to the 1960s, manufacturing employed roughly 40% of workers. Now it employs only 8%. In 2005-10 alone, 600,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared. The sector still accounts for about a tenth of GDP, though that has fallen too in recent years.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: The Economist - GAI






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